Sunday, April 16

Daily WHUFC News - 17th April 2017

Written by Steve Claydon @trbeat

Liability. Week in, Week out.
When Adrian went walkabout against Southampton and cost us the game, it was
time to replace him. If Bilic does not pull the trigger on Randolph, then
it's going to be a long last five games. Clean sheets require a mix of a
good back line and a solid keeper, or a solid back line and a good keeper.
Each and every week we can't seem to string those two requirements together,
and before you say we kept a clean sheet against Swansea, Randolph did his
best to try and ruin that. I'm done with Randolph. Nothing personal but
I've given him the benefit of the doubt for too long. This project is over.
Play to a Strength.
So, now I am confused and granted that does not take too much. We have the
big man playing upfront, so we go and play it on the floor, which is fine if
we are moving the ball forward. There were periods of this game where we
played some pretty football; however, it was in our third of the field, and
we were not moving forward.
A lot of times during this passing play, Sunderland pressured us into making
mistakes. I'm not asking us to lump it forward, pray and hope, but we have
a couple of fairly pacy backs and half decent wide midfielders that should
be looking to attack the wings and look for options. Our first goal
demonstrated that we could do it and that that tactic would work.
We looked most dangerous when we played wide, stretched the field and looked
for options, but those times were limited. We played today as if we had
Defoe on our side, looking and hoping that someone would make an intelligent
run to open space. Sunderland played to that strength, pulling defenders
and looking for incisive balls, and if not for some poor finishing and some
excellent defending by Fonte this would have been another game we lost.
Tactically we look confused at times and not sure what we are doing.
Couldn't even close out during a fire sale.
Twenty-two points dropped from winning positions. I would guess twenty-two
points lost in the last 5 minutes. Tottenham, West Brom, Bournemouth and
more left me feeling gutted. If I have no confidence that we will close out
a game thousands of miles away, on my comfy couch, what hope do I have that
the players will feel they can.
There is no strong mentality in this team. Leading by a goal means one
thing, backs to the walls and complete fear. If I were the opposing
manager, one goal down against us with five minutes in the game to go here
is what I would tell my team. We have this; they are there for the taking.
The sit back and try to suck up the pressure method does not work.
To end the game correctly requires communication between everyone and a
couple of players willing to show skill, determination and dedication to
take the game by the scruff of the neck and boss the last few minutes. This
rolling over needs to stop and STOP right now.
How to piss your boss off.
Bilic: I'm not sure I have full faith in you.
Byram: You can trust me.
Bilic: Sure?
Byram: Of course boss.
Bilic: Ok, well don't screw up then.
Byram: Will two yellows count as screwing up?
Bilic: MotherF%*ker
Silly boy. I get it; it can happen to anyone. I get that you can get two
yellow cards in the heat of a game. I get it. I get it. I get it. But
when you are incredibly thin at a position, and you already have some
challenges with people suspended and injured, you have to think bigger
picture. It was his take charge of, to own that role, to step up and
honestly say, I am the man for this job.
This fight for survival is not over yet, and all Byram accomplished was make
it that much harder for us next week. Everton is going to have a field day
running that channel with whoever puts their hand up and says "I'll do it,
I'm disappointed in Byram because I thought that he had turned the corner
the last couple of weeks. I think he still has a lot to learn with regards
to discipline. Learning in the EPL when you are thin at a position is not
What is our first eleven next year?
As I mentioned, during the offseason I plan to write a team breakdown of
each positional area and outside of few players; Lanzini….umm Lanzini, oh
and Lanzini (Yup, I have a man crush on Lanzini) I'm not sure who should be
Ok, that is a bold statement. This year has been terrible with injuries,
stadium move, the Payet issue and more but we can't and won't survive
another year of these challenges. We need to infuse the squad with
reliable, skilful and dedicated players. We have players who individually
meet these criteria but who meets them all? Again, maybe a bold statement
but our summer and winter signings have been wide of the mark, and we need a
team with quality starters and quality depth.
We, as fans, have moaned at nearly everyone during the year and I know that
that is part and parcel of the game, but a question for you, who do you see
as a must have player to be brought back? I already picked Lanzini, so he's
off the table.
See you next week.


Hello everyone. I am writing to give my opinion on what I believe needs to
be done at the club during the summer.

So this season has been a complete disaster, and the sooner it ends the
better. Once the season is done, I believe that the club need to have a
massive shake up from top to bottom.

This shake up starts from the manager. Now I know a lot of people love Slav
and I am one of them people, but is he really the man to take us forward?
I'm not so sure. This is something that the board need to examine and it is
crucial that they make the right decision. If they decide to change things,
they have to bring in someone who is going to improve us and take us
forward. However if they decide to keep Bilic, then I feel that he has to
change his backroom staff.

I would like to see us hire a defensive coach to work alongside Slaven,
because our defending has been nothing short of embarrassing this season. We
have players that are capable of being a strong defence, but the
organisation just isn't good enough. I believe that with the right coach to
help Slav, we could become a very strong unit to break down. Bringing in
coaches does help, just look at how our strikers improved when Teddy was our
attacking coach.

I also feel that we need to look at changing our fitness coach. The current
coach is 70 years old, and for me that is not acceptable in the Premier
League. I think we should bring someone in that is going to push the players
to their limits. I hate to use them as an example, but look at how fit the
Spurs players are compared to ours. The difference is quite scary.

Now onto the players. We need to have a huge clear out in the summer. The
likes of Arbeloa, Tore, Nordtveit, Sakho, Valencia, Snodgrass and either of
our keepers will need to leave the club. As much as I like them, I just do
not think they are good enough for the level we are aiming to be at. I
cannot stress how important it is that we sign quality over quantity this

I think we need to bring in two strikers, a right back, a goalkeeper and
possibly another creative midfielder. These players must all be good enough
to get into our side straight away.

I am also a firm believer of giving youth a chance, and that is something
that I feel we must start to do more often. We have some players of real
quality in our youth system, but they are never given a proper chance to
prove themselves in the first team and it is very frustrating. Many teams in
the league have given chances to their youth players, some of which are now
first team regulars. I think it is about time we do the same.

A massive thank you to the West Ham Way for allowing me to voice my opinion,
and thank you all for taking the time to read my article.

By Zaman Siddiqui 16 Apr 2017 at 07:00 827 comments
Embed from Getty Images

Gosh, that match against the team in the red and white stripes sure was
difficult. We were playing Southampton, right? Honestly, I don't know what
to make of that match. We are 13th, but surely won't stay there much longer.
We played so poorly that we made Sunderland look like Southampton. Prior to
this match, the Black Cats had failed to score in their last six matches,
losing five of those – they scored two against us and drew. Leicester had
failed to win away in the league all season before playing us – they beat
us. Bournemouth defeated us, in spite of missing two penalties. Why must we
be the club that makes others look good by comparison?

Randolph played horrendously. This is certainly not a one-off incident, as
he has conceded many goals from similar positions. He has been poor on
corners, conceding against West Brom and nearly against Swansea in our last
match. I wouldn't be surprised if pinning Randolph during corners was part
of Sunderland's game plan. But it isn't just this match alone: he has made
more errors leading to goals than any other player in the PL this season
(4). When our club was founded in 1895, I'm sure one of the main tenets was
to dispose of underperforming players to the bench, so that everyone has a
fair chance to play. Randolph earned his place in the starting XI this way.
Perhaps the same rules should apply to Adrián?

I think Randolph will be well acquainted with another invention from 1895 –
the Gillette disposable razor blade. I'm not sure if others noticed, but he
shaved off his beard for this match! Sadly, it proved to be ineffective, as
the clean-shaven goalkeeper couldn't keep a clean sheet. In fact, it was
arguably the worst thing he has ever done, as he conceded two dismal goals.
Fortunately, the newly-shaven Irishman will likely continue in goal. In his
post-match interview, Bilic said: "It was a well taken goal from Borini and
okay, you expect to clear the ball, but … the ball dropped and unfortunately
he couldn't hold it." Methinks the gaffer likes the new Randolph… Don't be
surprised to see Bilic sign Joe Hart in the summer, having watched him in a
Head & Shoulders ad.

Moving on, another thing that we can use to widen our understanding of the
ins and outs of football is two-part pricing. This is something that has
become ubiquitous in the modern economy. How this works is you buy a
relatively inexpensive product and spend considerably more on the
replacement. For instance, have you ever noticed how the cost of replacement
cartridges for an inkjet printer eventually add up to the cost of the
printer itself? The reason behind this is that manufacturers deliberately
sell their printers at a low cost to ensure that consumers buy ink
cartridges from them. (What other alternative do the consumers have? Buy a
new printer?) Likewise, Gillette sell their blade holder at a low price and
sell their blades at a higher one.

When Fonte and Snodgrass were brought in, they were given higher wages. This
isn't much of a problem, but they were also signed for large transfer fees.
This is what has caused a bit of kerfuffle in the dressing rooms with the
other players who are unsettled. Noble, Kouyaté and Reid make less than
them. Given the fact that the new players would have received a sell-on-fee
(percentage of the transfer fee), the amount they receive is even higher!
Had the club followed the basic rule of two-part pricing, the players could
have been signed on high transfer fees, as well as an increase on the
sell-on-fee percentage, in order to be able to offer lower wages. If
Southampton and Hull wanted a lot for them, that is fine. But for the
players to demand such exorbitant wages is detrimental to success. Simply
put, just because our new signings are on higher wages doesn't mean we are
making progress as a club.

Bilic needs to be able to select teams based on both form and closeness. By
that, I mean how well the player is doing in training sessions and how they
interact with others on the pitch. It is painstakingly obvious that Bilic is
stubborn. Be that his tactical nous or his team selection, he will never
relent. I'm just going to focus on the latter for the time being. I feel as
though he doesn't want to put Adrián back in, because it will send out the
message that both our keepers are subpar. They are, but it is very unlikely
we will upgrade our goalkeeping selection. I honestly don't believe he has
faith in Randolph. Either that or he wants Adrián to leave the club by
depriving him of game time.

One of the major problems we are experiencing is seeing games out. We have
conceded a lot of late goals and I believe this is down to our laid-back
approach. It simply isn't enough to lead. We need to start winning
convincingly. Much like Everton and Lukaku will be against us (I hope I'm
proven wrong on that). For instance, last season we lead 1-0 against Villa
who had 10 men on the pitch. We were desperately trying to put the game to
bed, but we did it eventually winning 2-0. That is the sort of ambition we
need to have. That includes discipline, as we have been shown more red cards
than any other side in the Premier League this season (5). Byram got one in
the 95th minute in this match as did Antonio in the 86th minute against

Our match against Everton certainly doesn't fill me with confidence. If we
get anything from it, we can count ourselves lucky. Bookies will be lowering
their odds on Lukaku scoring. Had we won this match, I would have been
slightly more optimistic about our next one. In some ways, we were fortunate
to draw, given the fact that our two goals came from just three shots on
target. Sunderland had double the amount of shots we had, so anything could
have happened. If Bilic thinks that he will keep his job if we finish say
15th, then he is sorely mistaken. We are staying up, but that isn't enough
for a club like us. We have invested a considerable amount on players, so I
don't think he can rely on the success of last season. Just look at what
happened to Claudio Ranieri.

Has Masuaku nicked the West Ham left back spot and Adrian vs Randolph - five
things we learned
Should Adrian replace Randolph? Should Collins get a new deal?
Football London
08:00, 16 APR 2017

West Ham conceded yet another late goal as they dropped two points away at
Sunderland, the hosts nabbing a late equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw. The
Hammers should have had too much for the Black Cats but a lack of attacking
intent, especially in the second half, cost them dear. Andre Ayew and
James Collins had twice put the visitors ahead but they were cancelled out
by Wahib Khazri before half time and Fabio Borini as the clock struck 90.
Here's five things we learned from the match.

Still no back-to-back wins since December

Since the Hammers narrowly saw off Hull and Burnley (both 1-0 against
terrible away teams) in Decemeber, West Ham haven't won two games in a row.
Sure, they struggled to win many games at all but they had a chance
yesterday and it wasn't taken. The wild inconsistency of this team is
something that has plagued them all season. Slaven Bilic must be cravng some
consistency. To win such an enormous game like they did against Swansea and
to then throw away the win late on (again) must be hugely frustrating. If
the Hammers are to have a solid, mid-table season then they need to go
winning runs, not just losing a couple, winning one then drawing one and
losing again. It won't cut it.

James Collins - what a man

No-one embodies West Ham more than the Ginger Pele. His wholehearted and
committed display agaisnt Sunderland was a joy to watch. He threw his head
in where it hurt on the defensive end and showed a deftness of touch to
steer home Robert Snodgrass's corner early in the second half. It was
noticeable that he was one of the few Hammers players to clap the away
supporters at the end and they noticed it too. He's out of contract soon but
the man is playing like he is determined to get a new one. Give it to him.

Adrian vs Randolph

Four errors Darren Randolph has made this season that have led to goals this
season - making him the one of the clumsiest players in the Premier League.
Slaven Bilic insisted after the game that he wasnt going to point the finger
at the Irishman after he droped the cross which led to Fabio Borini's late
equaliser. But, this isn't the first it's happened. Adrian was dropped after
his hgh-profile clanger against Stoke earlier this season and Randolph has
been in between the sticks. With games against Everton, Spurs and Liverpool
on the horizon, Bilic needs to decide whether to stick with the Irishman or
go back to the Spaniard. Either way, expect some movement in the goalkeeping
department this summer.

Has Masuaku nicked the left back slot?

Yes, Aaron Cresswell was Hammer of the Year the season before last but that
doesnt absolve anyone from criticism. Cresswell came in for that this
situation and his injury came at an unfortunate time as he was under severe
pressure for his place from Arthur Masuaku. The Frenchman has been superb
for the past three games now, putting in man of the match dispalys against
both Swansea and Sunderland. Cresswell is now fit but should he get that
spot back which was his beforehand? There is an argument to play them both,
with one in a left midfield role, which could work. But, if Bilic persists
with a narrow midfield, Masuaku doesn't deserve to be dropped. The next four
games are as tough as they come Everton at home, Stoke away, then Spurs and
Liverpool at the London Stadium.
Romelu Lukaku always seems to score against West Ham, going away to Stoke is
always a horrendous prospect, Tottenham are on an unbelievable streak and
still chasing the title and Liverpool are, well, Liverpool and could easily
go on the rampage should they fell like it. The Sunderland game was a chance
to give some real daylight between the Hammers and the bottom three - look,
they won't go down - but with this tough run of games coming up, the gap
could narrow.

Results went their way this weekend but West Ham can't always be relying on
others to do them a favour.


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